Knit Happens at Christmas

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When I learned how to knit three years ago, I had no idea how much of a Christmas tradition it would become. What started as a pair of socks for everyone turned into special orders to specific knitted items and/or specialized projects.

I’m not complaining in the least because I love giving handmade gifts. Sometimes I wonder if my friends and family feel that way – there’s always that little voice that wonders if they’re thinking, “oh no, not again!” However, everyone’s excited responses told me I hit the mark this year!

My Christmas knitting odyssey began in early August. My stepmother very specifically asked for lightweight dishcloths. So, I tracked down some Sport weight cotton and got to work:

Yarn: Premier Yarns Cotton Fair (Violets and Cocoa)
Patterns From: Eight Linen Washcloths

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Next, I knit up some socks for a few friends that haven’t received socks since the first knitty round of Christmas. I made a simple 3×1 ribbed sock with a touch of color work in various worsted weight yarns (my yarn stash came in pretty handy!). Then, I got creative and paired each pair of socks with a book. Now these simple socks are “Reading Socks!”

Yarn: Various stash yarns, worsted weight
Pattern: Ann’s Go-To Socks

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One of my friends is a fellow Twi-Hard, so I made her a replica of a hat worn by Bella in the movie version of Eclipse. This was my first attempt at color work beyond the heel and toe of a sock. While I love how it turned out, this project reinforced my overall preference for textured patterns instead of color work.

Yarn: Lion Brand, Vanna’s Choice, (Green and Natural)
Pattern: Twilight Eclipse Bella Striped Hat

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My love of lace knitting got a nice workout with a scarf I made for my aunt. I found this pattern while playing on Pinterest and it turned out to be a beautiful and relatively easy pattern.

Yarn: Paton’s Classic Worsted Wool, (white)
Pattern: Birch Trees Scarf

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When I made my mom a kitchen towel last year, my sister wanted one, too. So, I decided to make one for her for Christmas. While a bit unconventional, this towel is highly absorbent and very sturdy. A row of buttons allows for the towel to be secured around an oven handle.

Yarn: Sugar n’ Spice Solids and Twists (Wine and Cottage)
Pattern: Triangles Towel

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Last, but not least, I made my mother something very special. Her kitchen window has long been in need of a pretty curtain or valance. I just so happened to come across a stunning lattice lace curtain pattern and thought it would look fantastic on her window. It’s one of the larger pieces I’ve ever made and it turned out beautiful!

Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Sport (Platinum)
Pattern: Dappled Lace Cafe Curtain

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One section of a 48″ panel

Knitting gifts is always fun, but now I’m excited to pick up my knitting needles and make a little something for myself!

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c.b.w. 2015

Favorite Thing Friday: Seascape Melody Socks

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After the challenge of knitting lace socks, I decided to go the simple route for my next project. I pulled out my trusty KB sock loom and got to work on Seascape Melody Socks (via Loom Knitting Socks by Isela Phelps).

Hiding in my yarn stash was a gorgeous skein of ONline Supersocke in Ocean Color, Colorway 1577. How perfect given the name of the sock pattern! I got this yarn while on vacation a couple of years ago and I was so excited to finally find the right pattern for it. Sadly, however, I think this yarn is discontinued.

The yarn is self-striping and mixes solids with heather effects. Beautiful shades of pink, blue, brown, cream, and green pull together to make a simple alternating ribbed pattern something really special.

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Seascape Melody Socks

Seascape Melody uses only knit and purl stitches. It’s basically an interrupted ribbed pattern. As usual, the heel and toe are worked using the short row method with a series of wrapped stitches.

I worked this sock over 56 pegs on the original fine gauge KB sock loom. I arrived at this peg count because the yarn I used had the same gauge (28 sts = 4″) as my favorite sock yarn, Paton’s Kroy. Experience has taught me 56 pegs with a 28 st gauge makes a perfectly fitting sock for my 8″ diameter foot.

My goal this summer is to clear out my sock yarn stash, so more sock posts are on the horizon!

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2015

 

Favorite Thing Friday: Simple Skyp Socks

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Leave it to me to knit wool socks in the summer! For this project, I decided I wanted a pair of neutral colored socks that can be worn with anything. Most of my socks are very colorful and that can sometimes make it tricky to find a pair that matches what I’m wearing.

Paton’s Kroy Socks yarn in Grey Marl is a perfect neutral. Instead of just a flat gray, it’s slightly variegated to make it a bit more interesting. I paired it with a great little (free!) pattern that adds some great texture – Simple Skyp Socks – to make what would otherwise be some very boring socks into super awesome socks.

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Simple Skyp Socks in Paton’s Kroy Grey Marl

These socks were great fun to knit, but I would recommend them for knitters who have some experience. The Skyp stitch involves passing a slipped stitch over both a knit stitch and a yarn over. While a relatively simple maneuver, new knitters might find it a little daunting to work with a yarn over within a three stitch sequence.

The combination of the Skyp stitch with a ribbed pattern creates a beautifully textured sock. There is nothing boring about alternating ridges of knits, purls, and the Skyp stitch! (Okay, maybe it is for people who are not obsessed with knitting socks.)

My next sock project is a little more complicated. Instead of the usual ribbed pattern, I’m going with a lace pattern, Veil of Rosebuds. To make them extra special, I’m using a gorgeous skein of Malabrigo merino wool. This is fancy yarn, so it deserves a fancy pattern!

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2015

Favorite Thing Friday: Lace and Rib Socks

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When I bought a skein of Noro sock yarn, my mission was all about finding the perfect pattern to make a special pair of socks. Noro is special yarn, so it deserves the right pattern to showcase it’s color and texture.

While paging through a Noro knitting magazine I spotted Lace and Rib Socks. These socks have a beautiful lace pattern on the leg and a simple rib pattern on the foot – the perfect combination of complexity and simplicity!

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Lace and Rib Socks, Noro Silk Garden Sock Yarn

The lace pattern looks complicated but it only requires a couple of stitches beyond the basics. If you know how to knit 2 together and a yarn over, you can make these socks!

Overall, the pattern is written extremely well. Reading the chart, however, can be tricky for beginners. The concept of a “no stitch” box can be confusing at first, so it might be a good idea to read up on the subject before casting on, (check out this link for a great tutorial).

The contrasting textures really help to accentuate the color palette of my skein of Noro Silk Garden Sock (Colorway S268). I bought this skein because I loved the neutral colors, as well as that bright pop of blue. One of my favorite things about these socks is how each sock has one bright stripe of blue – it keeps things interesting!

I seem to be on a sock streak because almost immediately after finishing these socks, I picked out some new yarn and starting knitting yet another pair of socks!

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2015